Stalock wins 1st NHL start as Sharks roll past Sens
Ottawa, ON (SportsNetwork.com) - The San Jose Sharks continued to roll even though workhorse goaltender Antti Niemi finally got a rest.
Backup Alex Stalock, making his first NHL start, turned away 38 Ottawa shots in San Jose's 5-2 win over the Senators at Canadian Tire Centre.
Niemi had started each of the Sharks' first 11 games this season.
"I saw a lot early and was able to feel it," Stalock said. "I was lucky enough to make saves."
James Sheppard and Tommy Wingels both registered a goal and an assist for San Jose, which improved to 10-1-1 this season.
Craig Anderson allowed all five goals on 29 shots for the Senators, who have dropped four straight at home to the Sharks. They haven't beaten San Jose in Canada's capital city since Dec. 19, 2002.
"Right now it's not going our way, it's just something you have to fight through," Senators forward Kyle Turris said.
During their outstanding start to the season, the Sharks have had a proclivity for scoring early goals. They wasted little time again Sunday as rookie Tomas Hertl went to the crease and slipped the puck past Anderson 1:16 into the contest. In four of their previous 11 games, San Jose lit the lamp within the game's opening minute.
The goal was the eighth for the youthful Hertl and first since a 3-2 victory over visiting Ottawa on Oct. 12, snapping a six-game drought.
Andrew Desjardins made it 2-0 at the 6:35 mark of the first period, ripping a hard backhander off the left post and behind Anderson.
The Senators were able to get a goal back later in the first and had a prime chance at tying the game with a power play, but the Sharks managed to restore their two-goal advantage while shorthanded before the intermission.
Erik Karlsson put Ottawa on the board with a booming shot from just inside the blueline at the right point with 8:53 remaining.
However, the Senators defenseman coughed the puck up on the aforementioned power play. Anderson denied a breakaway bid by Logan Couture, but Wingels followed up the play and buried the rebound with 1:45 left.
Ottawa closed to within 3-2 at 9:09 of the second period on Marc Methot's slap shot from the left point on a delayed penalty.
The Sharks went up by two goals for a third time early in the final period. Joe Thornton had the puck below the goal line and fed Sheppard for a one-timer at the left side of the net at 1:29.
Justin Braun set up Joe Pavelski for a tap-in goal at 7:59.
The Sharks have won seven of the last eight meetings overall ... Both teams were 0-for-3 on the power play ... San Jose was outshot by an opponent for the first time this season ... The Senators fell to 1-5-1 against the Pacific Division.
10/27 21:54:39 ET